CGI Deserves Some Recognition And Respect
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

CGI Deserves Some Recognition And Respect

It's time for me to commit "the" cardinal sin for a film enthusiast by defending CGI.

40
CGI Deserves Some Recognition And Respect

Special effects are found in almost every film released from the beginning of the medium to the present. We tend to remember great practical effects like the Orc makeup in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and the the use of real cars and stunts in "Mad Max: Fury Road." However, we typically neglect some of the great effects done entirely by computer.

Sure, film culture has gotten better with it's treatment of CGI as the technology improved and photo-realism became more and more attainable, but the respect and artistic appreciation give to other special effects teams like makeup is still lacking. For example, you can probably name some practical effects artists like Rick Baker or Jim Henson, but can you name any memorable people who work behind the computers on digital effects? The industry still has a long way to go.

CGI has usually been seen as a lesser craft even within effects industries. We apply artistry to the craftsmen who made the models and alien makeup for "Star Wars," but we sneer at the computer effects artist who uses CGI to create unique planets and in-humanoid looking creatures in the same series. It seems like computer effects artists can't get any respect anywhere.

Those are the people that I feel the most sorry for because they act as the "whipping boys" of the effects industry in film. They have to do massive amounts of labor intensive work for dozens of films a years and they don't even get respect from their industry peers, because they are currently too busy talking about how much more impressive practical effects are and how "artificial" CGI looks/feels. They do most of the work and get little in terms of recognition.

This has always rubbed me the wrong way. The industry loves to defend this mentality by comparing the two and showing how much more effective practical effects are to CGI. However, they always seem to accomplish this by cherry picking good examples from practical and bad examples from CGI. I could easily do the same in reverse, like comparing the fantastic digital apes in the new "Planet of the Apes" films to the practical ones from the earlier films which, let's be honest, haven't aged that well.

Our mentality surrounding CGI needs to change. We view the computer and the tools on it as soulless compared to the craftsmen who shape masks and suits by hand, but the truth is that the computer is just another tool used by an artist similar to the scalpels or latex used by practical effects artist. Both have real human beings shaping and crafting an effect.

Each form has it's intended use; typically if you can do an effect practically, then do it practically. If it can't, then you use CGI. However, as technology improves and the use of CGI is becoming more widespread, it's beginning to take over roles once used for practical and the industry longs nostalgically for the past (so do I). That being said, you shouldn't throw out the new because you long for the old, both forms of special effects deserve credit and artistic merit equally.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

88655
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

194840
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments